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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Takumi Sato


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Takumi Sato, clinical assistant professor of School of Education , for student-centered instruction that emphasizes critical thinking and understanding. Students are asked to grapple with questions and ideas through discussion and reflective writing, and work together toward deeper knowledge.

Dr. Sato teaches Critical Race Theory in Education, a graduate level seminar, in which students explore race and racism to understand contemporary issues in education and society. In addition to exposure to seminal literature, students are invited to bring in current racial issues for discussion. Students are also given ownership over their learning by leading class discussions and undertaking a research project on a topic of their choosing. Students apply course content to real life examples to understand the systemic nature of racism, and are asked to transfer it to the Virginia Tech Community and beyond. As one student stated, “I truly have learned the most in this course over my time at Virginia Tech. This was a transformative class and I really tried hard to get the most out of it.”

Dynamics of the 21st Century Classroom, is a course Dr. Sato developed for upper level undergraduate students. As an Engagement Faculty Fellow, he was able to build a course in which his students, all pre-service teachers, are asked to apply course ideas in their volunteer placements working with underserved communities. The main focus of this class is to “prepare students for the challenges facing teachers today.”

One of his students sums up not just the value of the work, but the value of Dr. Sato as a teacher: “I worked harder and thought more about the content in this class than I ever have before in any of my classes. I went to the site (service-learning) every week, and I learned so, so much … I am so thankful for the chance to take this class and have you as a teacher.”


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Teacher of the Week

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A list of the past winners is available.